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The extravagant and erring fpirit hies To his confine: and of the truth herein This prefent object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock". Some fay, that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, This bird of dawning fingeth all night long: And then, they fay, no fpirit' dares ftir abroad; The nights are wholefome; then no planets ftrike, No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, So hallow'd and fo gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it. But, look, the morn, in ruffet mantle clad,

But this change, though it would smooth the construction, is not neceffary, and, being unneceffary, fhould not be made against authority. JOHNSON.


Bourne of Newcafile, in his Antiquities of the common People, informs us, "It is a received tradition among the vulgar, that "at the time of cock-crowing, the midnight fpirits forfake thefe "lower regions, and, go to their proper places.-Hence it is, " fays he, that in country places, where the way of life requires more early labour, they always go chearfully to work at that "time whereas if they are called abroad fooner, they imagine "every thing they fee, a wandering ghoft." And he quotes on this occafion, as all his predeceffors had done, the well-known lines from the first hymn of Prudentius. I know not whofe tranflation he gives us, but there is an old one by Heywood. The pious Chanfons, the hymns and carrols, which Shakspeare mentions prefently, were usually copied from the elder Christian poets.

FARMER. 8 Th' extravagant-] i. e. e. got out of its bounds. WARBURTON. So, in Nobody and Somebody, 1598: "-they took me up for a Aravagant." STEEVENS.

9 It faded on the crowing of the cock.] This is a very ancient fuperftition. Philoftratus giving an account of the apparition of Achilles' fhade to Apollonius Tyaneus, fays that it vanished with a little glimmer as foon as the cock crowed. Vit. Apol. iv. 16.


1 Dares flir abroad. Quarto. The folio reads-can walk— STEEVENS.

lameness or difeafes.

2 No fairy takes,] No fairy frikes with This fenfe of take is frequent in this author.



Walks o'er the dew of yon' high caftern hill:
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice,
Let us impart what we have feen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for upon my life,
This fpirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:
Do you confent we fhall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know

Where we shall find him moft convenient. [Exeunt.


A room of fate.

Enter the King, Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and Attendants.


King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's


The memory be green; and that it us befitted.
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet fo far hath difcretion fought with nature,
That we with wifeft forrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our fometime fifter, now our queen,
The imperial jointrefs of this warlike ftate,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,-
With one aufpicious, and one dropping eye 4;




-high eastern bill:] The old quarto has it better eastsward. WARBURTON.

The fuperiority of the latter of these readings is not, to me at leaft, very apparent. I find the former ufed in Lingua, &c. 1607: "and overclimbs

"Yonder gilt eaftern hills."

Eafern and cafevard, alike fignify toward the Eaft. STEEVENS. 4 With one aufpicious, and one dropping eye: The quarto, with fomewhat lefs of quaintnels:

Thus the folio.

With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal fcale weighing delight and dole,-
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wifdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along :-For all, our thanks.

Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak fuppofal of our worth;
Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,-
5 Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pefter us with meffage,
Importing the furrender of thofe lands

Loft by his father, with all bands of law,
To our most valiant brother.-So much for him.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the bufinefs is: We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,--
Who, impotent and bed-rid, fcarcely hears

With an aufpicious, and a dropping eye.

The fame thought, however, occurs in the Winter's Tale: "She had one eye declined for the lofs of her husband; another elevated that the oracle was fulfilled." STEEVENS.

I once thought that dropping in this line meant only depressed, or caft downwards; an idea probably fuggefted by the paffage in The Winter's Tale, quoted by Mr. Steevens. But it means, I believe, weeping. "Dropping of the eyes" was a technical expreffion in our author's time." If the fpring be wet with much fouthwind, the next fummer will happen agues blearnefs, dropping of the eyes, and pains of the bowels." Hopton's Concordancia of year es, 8vo, 1616. MALONE.

5 Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,] The meaning is, He goes to war fo indifcreetly, and unprepared, that he has no allies to fupport him but a dream, with which he is colleagued or confederated. WARBURTON.

Hanmer reads-collogued, and perhaps rightly, as this word is frequently ufed by Shakipeare's contemporaries. So, in Marion's Malecontent, 1604: "Why look you, we must collogue fometimes, forfwear fometimes." Again, in Green's Tu Quoque, 1599: "Collogue with her again." Again, in Heywood's Love's Miftrefs, 1636: This collegued lad." Again, in Swetnam Arraign'd 1620: "For they are cozening, cellegring, ungrateful, &c." STEEVENS.


Of this his nephew's purpofe,-to fupprefs
His further gait herein; in that he levies,
The lifts, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his fubject:-and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further perfonal power
To bufinefs with the king, more than the fcope 7
Of thefe dilated articles allows 8.
Farewel; and let your hafte commend your duty.
Val. In that, and all things, will we fhew our

King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewel. [Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius. And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some fuit: What is't, Laertes? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, And lofe your voice: What would't thou beg, Laertes,

That fhall not be my offer, not thy afking?
The head is not more native to the heart,


6 to Suppress

His further gait therein,] Gate or gait is here ufed in the northern fenfe, for proceeding, paffage; from the, A. S. verb gae. A gate for a path, paffage, or street, is still current in the north.


7-more than the fcope] More than is comprised in the general defign of these articles, which you may explain in a more diffuse and dilated style. JOHNSON.


thefe dilated articles] i. e. the articles when dilated.


9 The head is not more native to the heart,

The band more infirumental to the mouth,

Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.] This is a flagrant instance of the firft editor's ftupidity, in preferring found to sense. But head, heart, and band, he thought must needs go together, where an honest man was the fubject of the encomium: though what he could mean by the head's being native to the heart, I cannot conceive. The mouth indeed of an honeft man might, perhaps, in fome fenfe, be faid to be native, that is, allied to the VOL. X. T


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The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What would'st thou have, Laertes ?

Laer. My dread lord,

Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
To fhew my duty in your coronation ;
Yet now, I must confefs, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave? What says

Polonius ?

Pol. He hath, my lord, [wrung from me my flow leave,

By labourfome petition; and, at last,
Upon his will I feal'd my hard confent :]
I do befeech you, give him leave to go.

heart. But the speaker is here talking not of a moral but a
phyfical alliance. And the force of what is faid is fupported only
by that distinction. I fuppofe, then, that Shaklpeare wrote:
The blood is not more native to the heart,
Than to the throne of Denmark is thy father.
This makes the fentiment juft and pertinent. As the blood is
formed and fuftained by the labour of the heart, the mouth fup-
plied by the office of the hand, fo is the throne of Denmark by
your father, &c. The expreffion too of the blood's being native to
the beart, is extremely fine. For the heart is the laboratory where
that vital liquor is digefted, diftributed, and (when weakened and
debilitated) again reftored to the vigour neceffary for the difcharge
of its functions. WARBURTON,

Part of this emendation I have received, but cannot difcern why the bead is not as much native to the heart, as the blood, that is, natural and congenial to it, born with it, and co-operating with it. The relation is likewife by this reading better preferved, the counfellor being to the king as the head to the heart. JOHNSON.

I am not certain that the part of Dr. Warburton's emendation which is received, is neceffary. The fenfe feems to be this, the head is not formed to be more useful to the heart, the hand is not more at the service of the mouth, than my power is at your father's fervice. That is, he may command me to the utmost; he may do what he pleases with my kingly authority. STEEVENS.

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